Both palm oil and coconut oils have several similarities as they both have a high concentration of fats. They are said to be suitable choices in the kitchen due to their ability to resist oxidation. Commonly referred to as tropical oils, they are both sourced from palm trees. The oils have numerous health benefits. But they also have several differences, that we’ll see below.
They have different origins
Even though they both come from palm trees, the oils have different chemical compositions. Their varying compositions can be explained by the fact that the oils originate from other species and various parts of the palm tree. Coconut oil is sourced from coconut palm seed, while palm oil is from the fleshy fruit of the palm tree.
The oils have different colors
The palm oil is orange-red, while the coconut oil assumes a white color when in their concrete forms. The orange, red color in the palm oil is due to carotenes, a plant pigment in various fruits and plants.
Palm oil has a more favorable fatty acid composition
Tropical oils like palm and coconut are known to have high-fat saturation. However, palm oil is 50% saturated making it a more favorable fatty acid than coconut oil that is 85% saturated. the higher the fat saturation, the more solid the oil is at room temperature. And palm oil is semi-solid.
Coconut oil has more healing properties compared to the palm oil
The presence of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) in coconut oil gives it its healing properties and makes it unique from the other oils. The palm oil does not have the MCFA component, which is a high percentage of both the palmitic and stearic acids. These are standard features found in all other oils.
Both are fats so they have high energy content. A tablespoon of palm oil has 120 calories while coconut oil has 117 calories. You can be assured of getting 13.6 grams of fat per tablespoon. No protein or carbohydrates.
Palm oil has gained popularity due to its affordability compared to coconut oil. Though both oils have equal cholesterol and sugars, coconut oil barely contains vitamin E.
Both tropical oils are used for cooking as they have proven to have health benefits. It is up to you to make a choice on whether to use palm oils or coconut oil as they both locally available.